TITLE: Goal Pace at a Distance AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 31, 2005 11:11 AM DESC: I have peaked in my training two weeks earlier than planned. Now, I just need to work to bring it all together on October 2. ----- BODY: Just a quick training update, only because I am even more surprised and pleased than I was after my last long run. I am planning to close my long-distance training with the traditional 20-miler three weeks before race day. My goal for much of this season has been to try to run this 20-miler at my marathon goal pace -- 8:00 min/mile -- or close. On Sunday, I did a 22.2-mile long run, five weeks before the marathon. The final time: 2:55:53! That's a minute and a half sub-goal pace. Oh, and I managed negative splits on my clocked miles: 8:27, 8:09. 7:57, 7:40, 7:30, 7:10. That last was Mile 20! I am pretty sure that I could have finished a full marathon in 3:30 on Sunday. This run came at the end of a 60-mile week, and a 122-mile fortnight. Other than a longer than usual nap on Monday, and some sore quads Monday and Tuesday, my body showed no ill effects from the training run. I even played volleyball on Sunday evening. At this point, I am as confident as I can be about my speed and endurance heading into the marathon. I just need to maintain my fitness level, perhaps improving the combination of speed and endurance a bit in my last few track workouts. My real focus now is on a good taper (rest!) and the right diet in the week before the race. -----